back to article Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

US big box retailer Best Buy has pulled from its shelves Kaspersky Lab's PC security software amid fears of Kremlin spies using the antivirus tool to snoop on Americans. Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat, the retail chain is ending its long relationship with Kaspersky, …

  1. Updraft102 Silver badge

    "Hey! Spying on Americans is the job of the American government, not the Russian government!"

    Did Best Buy say that, or did the NSA say that with their hand up the back of Best Buy like a puppet?

    As an American, I'd much rather have the Russians spying on me than the NSA. The Russians don't have a habit of using the prosecutorial process to destroy Americans (who are physically in the United States). I'd be more likely to go to Best Buy to have them remove an American anti-malware and have it replaced with Kaspersky than the reverse (though in reality I'd do neither... no one works on my stuff but me).

    1. Amos1

      Actually it was the FBI that was enlisting the Best Buy Geek Squad to spy on their customers' equipment brought in for repairs. Same difference, though.

      I read the feds brief on this subject and substituted "American" every place it said "Russian" and yes, it read pretty much the same: "Go back to pen and paper no matter where you live."

      1. harmjschoonhoven

        @Amos1

        "Go back to pen pencil and paper no matter where you live." FTFY. BTW Russians love to write with pencil because it can always be erased with a rubber (and keeps working at -45 °C).

        1. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha

          Re: @Amos1

          That reminds me of the (possibly apocryphal) story that during the early days of the "space race" the Americans spent millions trying to perfect a ballpoint pen which would work in zero gravity.

          The Russians used pencils.

          1. baspax

            Re: @Amos1

            Yeah, nice story. You know what happens to a pencil's graphite dust and shavings in zero gravity? It floats around and gets into all sorts of nooks and crannies. Wouldn't matter if it weren't extremely good at CONDUCTING ELECTRICITY!

            Yes, that's what I want, electrical shorts everywhere while in a spacecraft.

            Btw, the Russians didn't use pencils.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Amos1

              Btw, the Russians didn't use pencils.

              They did for early flights - certainly for the Gagarin's flight, who famously lost the pencil while in orbit. NASA also used pencils early on.

              Later, both switched to pressurized ballpoints, coming in fact from the same (american) company.

          2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

            Re: @Amos1

            Bollocks.

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. Neoc
            Stop

            Re: @Amos1

            You're right, it is apocryphal.

            http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

          5. Anonymous Git

            Re: @Amos1

            yea that is funny. simplicity does fun sometimes....

            ...but there was a reason for that pen. A pencil lead could break/fragment, sending little bits of conductive material floating around the spacecraft and into electronics...

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: @Amos1

              They did for early flights - certainly for the Gagarin's flight, who famously lost the pencil while in orbit

              I think these were chinagraph pencils, rather than graphite. Used in aviation even today.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Pencils in space

                They did for early flights - certainly for the Gagarin's flight, who famously lost the pencil while in orbit

                I think these were chinagraph pencils, rather than graphite. Used in aviation even today.

                Not it Gagarin's case: he apparently used a bog-standard graphite pencil. If you believe Wikipedia's article on writing in space:

                <quote>

                The wood pencil has been used for writing by NASA and Soviet space programs from the start. It is simple with no moving parts, except for the sharpener. However, wood, graphite, and rubber (in the eraser) are all combustible and create dust. Graphite, in particular, both burns and produces dust that conducts electricity.

                The mechanical pencil has been used by NASA starting in the 1960s Gemini program. It can be made to be as wide as the width of astronauts' gloves, yet maintain its light weight. There are no wooden components which might catch fire and create dust. However, the pencil lead still creates graphite dust that conducts electricity.

                Grease pencils on plastic slates were used by the Soviet space program as an early substitute for wood pencils. It is simple with no moving parts. The paper shroud is peeled back when needed. The disadvantage is that the paper wrapper has to be disposed of. Writing done with the grease pencil is also not as durable as ink on paper.

                Ballpoint pens have been used by Soviet and then Russian space programs as a substitute for grease pencils as well as NASA and ESA. The pens are cheap, use paper (which is easily available), and writing done using pen is more permanent than that done with graphite pencils and grease pencils, which makes the ball point pen more suitable for log books and scientific note books. However, the ink is indelible, and depending on composition is subject to outgassing and temperature variations.

                Felt-tip pens were used by NASA astronauts in the Apollo missions. However, wick-based instruments are designed around low viscosity, and thus operating temperature and pressure.

                </quote>

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        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Slackness

          Re: @Amos1

          Very good Sir / Maam / Inbetween.

      2. BillG Silver badge
        Happy

        "Because Kaspersky's servers are in Russia, sensitive United States data is constantly cycled through a hostile country,"

        If the Kaspersky antivirus is cloud-based, as in it sends personal files to it's cloud for analysis, then this is true.

        Democrats demanded that the General Services Administration remove Kaspersky from its list of U.S. government approved vendors back in July. The GSA complied. This is old news.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reminds me of that comment Julian Clary made about Norman Lamont.

    3. OldSoCalCoder

      Yes - don't install Kaspersky. Use Avast, which is based in the Czech Republic. No, change that to ESET, based in Slovakia. No, change that to Bitdefender based in Romania. Wait, erase that. Use F-Secure based in Finland or TrendMicro in Japan, Panda from Spain.

      What about backup software which could install boot loader infections? CloneZilla from South Korea. EaseUS? Mainland China. Acronis is a Swiss based company started by and currently run by Russians!

      Over the years I've read a lot of malware writeups by a lot of different companies based all over the world. They do a great job and seem to have one objective - figure out how the bad guy software works and stop it from messing with my stuff. I have nothing but admiration for these people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I judge security vendors

        On how they behave in public, how truthful they are at reporting risks and such.

        Kaspersky and Checkpoint are both on my no buy list as they are keen to sponsor and push scare stories to sell their wares.

      2. DeeCee

        there is a difference between allied(NATO etc.) and openly hostile country, especially when that country manages to break even more written and unwritten rules than U.S.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Wow

    The part about software still being sold on shelves, that is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      That's nothing. Some backwoods locations still have active video rental stores.

      1. joed

        Re: Wow

        Not just backwoods and no problem with this. Really no reason to hand over every last $ to growing monopoly of few service providers. Some people just don't like to sign up for another subscription, some don't consider high tier broadband worth the price and some just have no choice.

    2. fobobob

      Re: Wow

      A lot of it is barely a step beyond those games that made the news for basically shipping a CD with the Steam installer on it. Buying a box containing a physical copy of the license, on the other hand, is not a bad thing.

  3. razorfishsl

    Bitdefender is the same.

    Since it went cloud, it is actually harvesting personal information from your computer.

    Prior to the renewal of my subscription ,I was really happy , then on the renewal I was asked to DL an "updated" version.

    now it is harvesting personal information from my files structure and in some cases it is unsecured, wireshark has show me this.

    1. depicus

      If you want in-secure take a look at F-Secure which proxies SSL web browsing information including PayPal details on a localhost server using http......

  4. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Pint

    National security

    I can't speak for anyone else here, but Russians spying on my browsing and other activities would be a boon to American security. The FSB would be bored to death.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: National security

      They just get a better class of porn.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: National security

        I wonder what AV software Trump's team uses?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AV Software for Trump

          Naturally, it will be one made in "Make America Great" naturally which sort of only leaves MS.

          So the only system approved for use in the whole of the US Government will be Windows. Bit hard to run windows on some of those mega HPC systems that are used by all the TLA people.

          MS will love licensing windows on a few dozen 65536 core systems. The US Federal budget deficit will go up by a few billion.

          But it will make America Great

          Sarcasm intented.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I guess everyone needs a scapegoat at this point in time... be it countries, politicians, or software companies. And now shops selling equipment. What's next on the list to boycott? I'll assume that our government will now say that all US products are without US backdoors?

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      No but "the only good backdoor is our own.backdoor."

      Except it is not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It is when you have no choice BUT to have a back door because "leaving it" means you can't live anywhere.

        1. hoola

          Who has most to lose?

          I would have thought that a growing boycott of software and tech products would hurt the US far more than anyone else. There are plenty of other companies out that that will fill the void. More to the point they will fill it permanently. The likes of Huawei would jump at the chance of replacing Dell, HPe, SuperMicro. It is irrelevant where the kit is manufactured as the profits are ultimately in the US and the are US companies/. The US could lose substantially, particularly if China not only joins a boycott but actively pushes alternatives.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    WTF?

    What the FEEL?

    I just can't believe the hysteria that some people will go through, because, FUD.

    "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!"

    "Eemeargencie. Eemeargencie. Everybody get from striiit."

    [ok I can't remember the details THAT well, did anyone NOT get that reference? Maybe I missed something...]

    next thing, maybe quote Bill Murray from the Ghostbusters movie. "Cats and dogs, living together" etc.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: What the FEEL?

      The scoops are on their way, bob.

      (IT'S MADE OF PEOPLE, PEOPLE!)

  7. Gde

    Who knew?

    Proof that there is upward job mobility at Best Buy.

    Their worthless idiot salespeople have clearly moved into purchasing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand". Served me perfectly well since the 80's,

    and subscription is free :)

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand". Served me perfectly well since the 80's,"
      What a truly excellent idea that is and well worth more than a single upvote. Worked well for me for the best part of two decades. Except there's more than just virus around these days so, being a belt and braces man, I've always had anti-malware protection as well.

      Then the other day I really, really needed to run a dubious exe file. So, I dutifully ran it by Vipre and received the nod to run it. Big Mistake! It installed 26 different applications and a huge number of other nasties. Spent most of yesterday disinfesting the machine.

      Malware Bytes was a great help. Vipre have most definitely lost a customer, but then that was the case when they started bad-mouthing Kaspersky. Put the idea in my head that they just might be doing what they accuse Kaspersky of.

      1. JoshOvki

        needed to run a dubious exe file...

        Come on, spill. It was iTunes wasn't it?!

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: needed to run a dubious exe file...

          "Come on, spill. It was iTunes wasn't it?!"
          Actually it wasn't. What purpose would iTunes serve me? I have some 700+ GB of CD RIPs and transcriptions of my vinyl record collection. All played through Foobar 2000.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: needed to run a dubious exe file...

            "What purpose would iTunes serve me? I have some 700+ GB of CD RIPs and transcriptions of my vinyl record collection. All played through Foobar 2000."

            I could have made that exact post... seriously, my CD and Vinyl collection combined takes up nearly 1TB of space and I use Foobar 2000. Freaky.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: needed to run a dubious exe file...

              "I could have made that exact post... "
              Great minds like a think :-)

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: needed to run a dubious exe file...

          Come on, spill. It was iTunes wasn't it?!

          More likely "basic_printer_driver.exe"...

          --> Explosion of worthless stuff on your HD

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just install the virustotal context menu clicker.

        Any dubious files, right click send to virustotal, get results. Even if all the AV shows it as safe, you can see the breakdown of file information on one of the tabs and judge for yourself.

        Saves having to worry about whether a particular malware blocker is up to scratch.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          "Just install the virustotal context menu clicker."
          The horse has already bolted of course, but thanks for the heads up. Hopefully I won't ever need it, but if I do I hope I remember your excellent advice.

      3. Adam JC

        What was it, the latest and greatest version of Vipre....? :)

      4. Bluto Nash

        ALL shonky executabes, PDFs, non-confidential docs or spreadsheets go straight to Virustotal before being opened on on a VM that's had a recent checkpoint made and no network access.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "ALL shonky executabes, PDFs, non-confidential docs or spreadsheets go straight to Virustotal before being opened on on a VM that's had a recent checkpoint made and no network access."

          And if you're dealing with a Red Pill (hypervisor exploit) capable of forcing your network stuff on to make a connection...or simply wait until you MUST update it by network or USB and infect the medium then?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand". Served me perfectly well since the 80's,"

      Until you get a drive-by from a hacked reputable site.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why not fire up a vm and run it in that first? Or even a usb bootable copy of windows.

    3. EveryTime Silver badge

      'My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand". Served me perfectly well since the 80's,'

      That approach has served me well, but it is not reliable. There are many ways to get malware even if you are careful. Many reputable sites have served up malware, as has *every* significant ad network. Even if you run an ad-blocker, a few still slip through.

      My most dangerous compute exposure is when I need to run Windows for work, and must visit a range of work-required sites. For instance, when your job requires you to be part of a video conference / presentation that first requires downloading Java and Flash and running code from a slew of third and fourth party websites.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        My most dangerous compute exposure is when I need to run Windows for work, and must visit a range of work-required sites.

        This is done on a laptop provided by work, and via a VPN terminating at work.

        If something nefarious happens: not my circus, not my monkeys.

        1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

          That's the spirit!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My antivirus is "not clicking on random things I don't understand".

      Had an email at work this week asking me to enroll in an online security seminar - with a number of links to click on to register, get more info, etc.

      Seems to be working against what we're trying to teach our users.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...and what protection against malware ads?

      Idiot, you don't HAVE to click on a drive-by download on a web page you THINK you understand. There are no "safe" web sites anymore. The risk of hacked web servers, poisoned ads, and dodgy scripting all totally bypass your "approved before I click" security method.

      But the malware on your computer is carefully silent so go ahead and believe you've kept yourself safe!

  9. Mephistro Silver badge
    Angel

    "Under Russian laws and according to Kaspersky Lab's certification by the FSB, the company is required to assist the spy agency in its operations,"

    So the Russians have their own "All Writs Act" and "National Security Letters", don't they?

    I wonder in what position this leaves American software makers. If I were in their boots, I'd start stockpiling lube. Just in case. 8^)

  10. gerritv

    Better watch out for those Canadian $2 coins with the microphone in the middle as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that like the RFID in our £1 supplied by ISIS?

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    Hmmm

    As regards looking for Russian interference, isn't this a case of deliberately ignoring the Dave the Orang-utan in the room?

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Meh

    This is the same Best Buy that doesn't have hard drives (portable or external), wired mice, ethernet cards, any flavor of internal/external computer CDROM/DVD/Blu-Ray drives, or more than 2 models of LCD monitors available. No cable modems or routers, except maybe one or two low-end Linksys. No high end video cards either... i.e. anything bigger than a GTX-670. It's a waste of time to try to find anything there.

    I have one literally next door. I haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      "I have one literally next door. I haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years."
      That's nothing! MS are on the Interwebs which is as good as next door. Haven't been able to buy anything I needed from them in several years either. Not that I'd want o give them any money since the GWX fiasco.

    2. shawnfromnh

      Re: Meh

      Same with Staples and Walmart. Their websites have tons of stuff but unless you need printer ink or a phone case or a basic router you are shit out of luck. It's pathetic how little these huge companies stock. Hell if I'm buying online then I'll go amazon and get a decent price because the only reason I'd use Staples or Walmart is because I want something now, not 3 days from now and these stupid companies are becoming more clueless every year. Online is not the future, its for when you can't find it nearby and we will then shop the cheapest and not the online version of the store that will not keep something on the actual shelves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meh

        "Online is not the future, its for when you can't find it nearby and we will then shop the cheapest and not the online version of the store that will not keep something on the actual shelves."

        It IS the future, and you have no choice but to bend over. This from a guy who misses Radio Shack when one needed to fix an appliance on a Sunday (or you were paying for dinner out) when nothing else was open.

  14. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Yawn

    To quote the Bard - "Much ado about nothing". So the feral TLAs do not lean on local AV producers to provide information via their products. Given the behavior of the ferals one might believe that they fear Kapersky accidentally discovering their spyware/backdoors and publishing them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat

    Despite there being no concrete evidence of any kind to indicate that the security software is a threat ...

    FTFY

    Of course, the US has a good of for shooting itself in a foot for this kind of thing. Anybody remembers how the thing with Qian Xuesen turned out in the end?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Despite there being no concrete evidence to indicate that the security software is a threat

      Well, it depends who you are. Kaspersky Labs do actual research and are the ones who unearthed the Equation Group (NSA) and provided most of what we know about Stuxnet. So yes, there is evidence that they are a threat... if you're American Intelligence. ;)

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Confused

    Did someone just swap the names "Russian" and "American"?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classic whisper to reality campaign

    The irony is that Kaspersky is one of the good ones. I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware, it's kinda annoying that especially a Russian operator shows you up.

    This one stinks more than the socks of a battalion after a 20 mile march.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Classic whisper to reality campaign

      "I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware"

      Remember how BlackBerry lost US carrier support when it turned out their business encryption wasn't crackable?

    2. JCitizen
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Classic whisper to reality campaign

      "I guess they just HAD to go because they didn't support US efforts to plant malware"

      - Emisoft is well known for telling governments (including their own) to stick it up where the sun don't shine, when pressured to put nation state spyware on their customers machines. When I was using it, this anti-malware would even find the digital rights managment (DRM) in my machine governing my HD content. At first I was able to get it to leave the DRM alone so I could enjoy my content, but eventually I had to get rid of it, becauser that featrue stopped working. However if you REALLY like a serious malware weapon; I'd say it is the best in the world at this time!

  19. The Nazz Silver badge

    It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

    Otherwise, it seems to me, that such a guy, such an organisation, that leads in stopping threats would have all the skills to write malware and launch it on the US. At scale.

    In what way is Russia hostile to the Yanks?

    Apart from deterring regime change in Syria where the Yanks are arming/training the rebels/terrorists?

    Oh, and recovering Crimea.

    Any more?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

      "In what way is Russia hostile to the Yanks?"

      Report for retraining, gospodin.

      Russia refuses to follow the US lead on oil and gas. So does Iran. That's basically it. And it was Putin who scuppered the attempt of the US oil industry to take over the Russian industry during the Yeltsin years (he even jointly wrote an MSc paper on extraction resources) which has made him a US hate figure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

        Russia refuses to follow the US lead on oil and gas

        Worse, they're actively working to undermine the use of the US dollar for buying oil, one of the key reasons that allows the US to just keep borrowing more without ever paying it back (like having a credit card where the limit just keeps extending, while ignoring the interest that accumulates in the background). Their last deal with China was *not* in dollars, for instance. China plays quite a significant role here too.

        In this context, however, it is worth remarking that none of this has any bearing on Kaspersky being some sort of evil spy company. I'd sooner stick that label to Microsoft Windows, but that's of course on behalf of *cough* "good guys" *cough*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

      As I have said before here, I met him personally and I think I have a fairly good read on people (part of my work).

      In my opinion, if there *is* someone dodgy happening at Kaspersky I deem it unlikely that Eugene Kaspersky would be involved or that he would tolerate it..

      The Kaspersky business has been pretty much around from the early days of Microsoft Windows (for obvious reasons), but I'd trust them more than Microsoft, a LOT more. That doesn't I can't make a mistake, but for the moment the story of Kaspersky really being a threat simply does not tally with the facts and the personality involved. It lacks body, it has the thin feel of a campaign.

      1. shawnfromnh

        Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

        Well it was a Democrat from my state that made the accusation and she isn't the sharpest pencil in the box. She just wants to look like she adding to the Russian conspiracy narrative they have been trying to make people believe but it seems only the stupid actually are falling for it as in Hillary and Bernie supporters but most Bernie Sanders supporters can't even describe what socialism really is and the ones that try are just so wrong it isn't funny.

      2. Bob Hoskins

        Re: It's a good job this Kasperksy guy seems a good egg.

        Kaspersky are a pretty late player which makes it all the more impressive they broke into the AV market so effectively.

        As AV goes, Kaspersky is pretty good but I've no idea what their relation with the Kremlin (if any) is.

  20. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Anyone know who Hon Hai are?

    Yes, one of the top three contract electronics manufacturers who created a division called Foxconn because of US xenophobia of a Chinese company manufacturing the iPhone.

  21. scotitan
    Angel

    World War 3

    Pfft, nobody will really care about any of it, they caused WWIII. Hey it was just Capitalism! It was totally OK for US to spy on them with there Mobile phone but it's not OK for them to spy on US with there Anti-virus solution.

    Well now you get to reap what you sow, you wanted backdoors in everything, swift payments, insider trading fraud and malicious wiretap's used to illicitly transfer funds and now it's all out in the open what's the progress report, charged anyone lately, no of course not...

    Far too busy investigating while they scream we have the right's to do this, while the "Communist" & "Community" block of hacktavists is also busy screaming "No you dont!" so to recap it all in a nutshell, you have attacked the "Communist" party, it's communist party line's used to gather evidence of crimes against the Prolitariate (People), attacking the very financial transfer systems that uphold the entire banking system and you thought that with every other nation, they'd just be fine with it? Because your the CIA or NSA or FBI and what you say goes right? An because nobody really cares what happened to those Billion's in bearer Bonds misplaced by the Pentagon right before 9/11.

    No wonder we're all heading down the "Let's nuke em first!" line now being broadcast by all parties concerned.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: World War 3

      "so to recap it all in a nutshell, you have attacked the "Communist" party, it's communist party line's used to gather evidence of crimes against the Prolitariate (People), attacking the very financial transfer systems that uphold the entire banking system and you thought that with every other nation, they'd just be fine with it?"

      Maybe the Communists could sue for theft of trade secrets and "passing off"?

      1. scotitan

        Re: World War 3 @ John Brown

        Not so much passing off as passing the buck, rubles into dollars and vice a versa... From one account to another, but the irony is the system they used to do it was hailed as being the future at one time by all the scientists involved, which smack's of the level's of fraud so ingrained in the banking system and to be clear this banking system has enabled many to unjustly enrich themselves at the tax payers expense whilst they sat there writting the rules about the cryptography and of course the big surprise it was cryptography that all parties involved could break. After all how else do you use a wiretap if pesky crypto is going to get in the way? So now that they meet with resistance and hear the words revolution, they should take stock of exactly which party screams "Revolution" is it the cry of the Democrat? The cry of the Republican? Or the cry of the Communist? Take stock on that TV, all those fanatics marching, the US wanted to be the Worlds bank and now that people dont like what they see, who's fault is it?

  22. Heiz

    Best Buy Geeks

    Wasn't it Best Buy's Geek Squad that was aiding the FBI recently and for quite a few years?

  23. lordpercival

    I can't help loving The Reg sounding like Shylock when it says US software companies might lose BUSINESS if Russia makes good on using only its software. "My software, my dollars, my software" Maybe, JUST MAYBE, everything that is going wrong is a direct result of our country running risk after risk because BUSINESS is the only value we ever think of. Well, then let those companies PAY the costs that are a result of their years and years of selling everywhere it saw money. Social costs, as we all know, are never born by those who originally generate them. One thing that might impress Putin is if any American business walked away from a dollar or a rouble. Sort of like when a prostitute looks at a john and says "Sorry but I have SOME standards. Keep your money". Can the US of A ever BE that prostitute?

    1. scotitan

      Re: Can the US of A ever BE

      Negligable, although Korea has no trouble labelling them as such in the latest round of debate...

      The Jackboot of the American "imperialist" truely know's no bounds!

      It's impressive that it's reached that stage though and enjoyable watching there obvious reaction to the wording, "Communist" party - "communications" and information dispersal system with distributed hetrogenous cluster's, you dont like "communism" that's OK I get the feeling they dont like you much either.

  24. NonSSL-Login

    Counteract stupidness or it will spread

    The US has been upset with Kaspersky and determined to destroy his business since he released a public write-up of the NA malware/Equation group some time back.

    ""Because Kaspersky's servers are in Russia, sensitive United States data is constantly cycled through a hostile country," she said in an op-ed supporting the amendment.""

    I wish the EU would ban American software that sends data over to America which most the world see's as a hostile country, at least in the way of it's government and it's actions. Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game.

    1. Captain Badmouth

      Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

      "Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game."

      You should ban the first two regardless of their country of origin.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

      Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game.

      You can add MessageLabs to that, even the so-called "EU only" version, and I've caught Microsoft services too (in the worst possible place: a government setup). But hey, that's old news :).

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

      "I wish the EU would ban American software that sends data over to America which most the world see's as a hostile country, at least in the way of it's government and it's actions. "

      I'm American, and I see the American government as hostile, both to myself and to the rest of the world. Not sure how any thinking person could really see it otherwise, really. They're not hostile to foreigners and friendly to Americans, or even to other American government agencies; they're just hostile, period.

    4. JCitizen
      Gimp

      Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

      "Ban McAfee, Norton, Fortinet and Webroot and play them at their own game."

      I don't know about Fortinet, but I won't take a client that uses those other products - it just isn't worth the effort to try and keep their machines running.

  25. John Munyard

    The sound of scores being settled.

    One hopes this action hasn't been spurred by numerous recent pronouncements from the Trump administration and heads of various US Government agencies.

    Because it smells a bit like the US Intelligence community settling a score for Kaspersky Labs' pivotal role in uncovering the Stuxnet virus 12 years ago and ascribing it's origin to the US and Israeli Governments.

  26. scotitan

    Re: Counteract stupidness or it will spread

    It's already spread, to MEP's IPO's and other parties that claim they have the rights to leverage sanctions on countries poorer than themselves whilst they feed you there advertising properganda.

    Windows has never been top of the game when it comes to Security, but then niether is Linux - the only one at the top of the game is the - wiretap which seem's to have misplaced "billions" of dollars in funds right before the twin tower's went up in flames with insurance fraud and the guy owning the building insuring them all for ten times there actual worth.

    Now that they stamping down on the "Banks" they force the hand's of the "Communist" party to action and "Sanctions" is inflaming the flames of an already load of extremely pissed off people.

  27. Richard Parkin

    Bounty

    "software can have it removed by the retailer's Geek Squad techies, who may also check the computer for child abuse images" and add some if none found, since they get paid a bounty. Why would they need to examine documents while checking a computer's functions?

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Bounty

      "Why would they need to examine documents while checking a computer's functions?"

      They don't... it's an end run around the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure. The courts have concocted this "expectation of privacy" standard to determine if a government action is infringing on a person's Constitutional right (hint: If it's in question, the answer is "yes"), and they've decided amongst themselves that when you bring a PC in for repair, you expect that it's normal for the repair people to go rooting through your stuff. That means there's no "expectation of privacy," they say, so to bring your PC in for repair is the same as giving consent for a government agent to have a gander at all of your personal stuff, even though you brought your PC to a Best Buy, not an FBI field office.

      Government agents don't consider the Constitution to be a limitation on their powers, as it is intended to be. They see it as an annoyance that necessitates a series of procedural games that have to be played to pretend they're in compliance, while they actively and deliberately attempt to subvert every protection it has for ordinary people (and in full view of everyone). The Constitution says "no," but law enforcement agencies and the courts see a little asterisk by the "no," and they get to write the footnote at the bottom of the page that goes with it (and the exceptions they grant themselves are hundreds or thousands of times longer than the Constitution itself).

      You can't lawfully have government agents randomly going through people's stuff to see if they broke a law; the government is required to have enough suspicion of a specific person committing a specific crime to satisfy a judge, who will then issue a search warrant. The very idea of that makes the petty tyrants bristle, so they wrote themselves a *footnote: if the people don't have an "expectation of privacy" in a given setting, then the government agents can do whatever they want (even though the words "expectation of privacy" never appear in the Constitution at all).

      It's a tremendously convenient ability to have a roadmap of how you may "legally" violate the inviolable rights of anyone you wish. It's good to be the King.

  28. scotitan

    Re: Bounty

    They dont they're just nosey which is why you should use PGP or VeraCrypt before you give your Laptop to Best Buy and to be clear, your not really going to enjoy a laptop with the untrusted TPM, the locked in UEFI bootloader and as to an earlier guys comments about it being iTunes.. No dude, it was in the Dashboard it's always been inside "Genie" the dashboard. Like the trojan they found infecting all versions of OSX onwards from 10.6 - the latest version of Darwin from apple?

    What latest version, they no longer distribute Darwin_BSD as a seperate entity and it now comes with Microsuck (TPM) which in the older versions you could actually break into the AltiVec instructions.

    When you start backdooring secure operating systems claiming your not breaking the law, then you are indeed breaking the law period.

    Behold the true powers of the "Red Pill"

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a turn round

    Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

    1. Dog11

      Re: What a turn round

      Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

      There are no "hard left Dems" in Congress. The Dems are a center-right party, by world standards. So Congress has only "center-right" and "extreme right" wings.

    2. Dog11

      Re: What a turn round

      Amusing to see the hard left Dems taking up McCarthyism and checking for reds under the bed.

      There are no "hard left Dems" in Congress. The Dems are a center-right party, by world standards. So Congress has only "center-right" and "extreme right" wings. The US has been drifting right since the 1980s (it never has been left).

  30. scotitan
    Joke

    Re: a turn around

    Not so much of a turn around, we still get to listen to the Sonic boom tonight as they vaporise each other after much posturing. Be sure to stand on the porch, that way you'll see the far away glow in an eire light. 2 Minutes to Midnight, the hand that becon's doom. Fingers crossed, maybe one of Kim's nukes will land on Trump tower!

    1. Captain Badmouth
      Coat

      Re: a turn around

      "Be sure to stand on the porch, that way you'll see the far away glow in an eire light."

      Let's leave Eire out of this, they've got their own problems...

      Mine's the one with the ticket to Tír na nÓg via Hy-Brasil in the pocket.

  31. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So governments don't trust software from other countries because of the possibility of backdoors put in at the behest of those other countries' spooks and we as users increasingly don't trust software from our own countries because of the possibility of backdoors put in at the behest of our own governments' spooks. It's all going terribly well, isn't it?

  32. scotitan

    Re: It's all going terribly well, isn't it?

    Well when you stop to consider that 95% of all that technology comes out of the United States and the other 5% from the communist block, you soon get a feel for what's clean and what isnt.

    Dell computer's photographed in North Korea - dispelling the myth that they dont have internet, unfortunately it doesnt inform you or them about "LoJack" installed by DELL inside the BIOS which is a huge threat vector for someone to attack that machine, which was also how the spook's broke into several of there targets. "Genie" & Apple dashboard, well yeah that one was a given. BlackBerry powered by the GCC and Nutrino, OpenBSD powered by the GCC, Microsoft Windows powered by WatCOM. Not a lot of choice about what software to use, unfortunately.. when you attack one, it would appear you attack them all.. Probably why everybody has gone directly into paranoia over-drive and the "communists" all smuggly going "see we told you they couldnt be trusted!" look what they've done to there own freedoms!

  33. scotitan
    IT Angle

    Grease

    They've greased there fingers with 95% of it, abusing open source and open standards along the way...

    Bad I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E - intel chips with hidden "Me" controllers and poorly documented power management features. Below par AMD chips along the same lines with PSP microcontroller with again closed source drivers and binary blobs. Crappy firmware, with persistant hard-disk drive infectors, I've got one of those disk's and contrary to persistance or there claims of persistance you can over-write the UEFI boot sector with your own boot-loader.

    I rarely find myself having to shout "Unclean - Unclean!" but it does happen more often than not with Microsoft crap.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use AVG, and Avast!

    Seems to work, only had two fails so far and both times it appears to have been RAM issues.

  35. gerdesj Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The War Against Terror (TWAT)

    +1 insightful

    Wish I'd noticed that earlier, in fact I think that rather obvious acronym has been missed by a lot of people for very long time (*). A lot of Brits from this parish (at least) should be hanging heads in shame

    (*)I don't recall the memo, if one was sent

  36. Kiwi Silver badge
    Trollface

    Lemme guess..

    US big box retailer Best Buy has pulled from its shelves Kaspersky Lab's PC security software amid fears of Kremlin spies using the antivirus tool to snoop on Americans.

    Lemme guess... They replaced it with good 'ol Norton, which lets anyone and everyone spy, without so much as an "Excuse me, are you supposed to be running on this computer?"

    Or maybe MSIE, no doubt letting malware get through "by design" given recent flaws in Windows and IE 11.2Edge...

  37. lawndart

    No one mention that ZoneAlarm uses Kaspersky as its antivirus or merkins will be disabling their firewalls too.

  38. trisul

    Strange article

    I really cannot understand the logic here. Putin is wageing cyberwar against the West, FSB has control over Kaspersky and we are meant to tolerate this ... because our own intelligence services have access to our companies?!? We are to give our infrastructure: water, electricity, traffic, telecoms to an enemy nation ... because our own intelligence services have the same access?!?

    This is like saying we must allow robbers into the house because policemen can also enter.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Strange article

      You need to update your irony detector.

      Let me spell it out for you : The USA, a country that spies on the entire world and can force any company on US soil to hand over any data wherever in the world it was recorded, is complaining that, gasp!, Russia is doing the same thing and has a product that is sold on US soil ! Run to the hills ! Make sure only AMERICAN products can spy on you !

      Are things a bit clearer now ?

  39. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Who would buy an AV software from Best Buy anyway?

    It's way easier to download it, if necessary on your own PC and create a bootable CD. This sounds like a publicity stunt, "Let's ban something we're not selling!"

  40. Slackness

    Excellent, where can I buy up their old stock? 10 years and zero virus infections and minimal system interference when I have to run the 'Doze.

  41. Nick Kew Silver badge

    What it doesn't say

    "Under Russian laws ...

    Note the weasel words. You're meant to conclude that the Russian government has the power to require Kaspersky to spy on its users.

    OK, the company is required to assist the spy agency in its operations - well, that sounds plausible and also fair: the security services might call on Kaspersky to help with protecting vital infrastructure from a stuxnet. Or maybe the powers are more sweeping and they might be called on to help with analysing a seized 'puter for kiddie porn, or a 419-ers activities, or other such things. Noone is telling us how far those powers do or don't go.

    But - Russian law requires telecommunications service providers such as Kaspersky Lab ...? Really? So antivirus is a telecoms service? Or could it rather be language designed to mislead by conflating different issues (and projecting a politician's wet dreams)?

    Perhaps it's a skirmish in a battle between AV vendors and US security? Destination: US vendors required to install spyware; non-US vendors choose install spyware or be banned.

  42. Bob Hoskins
    Coffee/keyboard

    The War Against Terror (TWAT)

    I can't believe I haven't seen this one before.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh

    ""Because Kaspersky's servers are in Russia, sensitive United States data is constantly cycled through a hostile country,""

    And right there ladies and gentlemen,is why the world is so fucked up.

  44. BazzF

    Switched our family AV to Kaspersky this year. It seems strange to trust the Russians more than the Americans.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      You're not trusting "the Russians" or "the Americans". You're trusting one private company over another. Which seems an entirely reasonable thing to do, regardless of your politics.

  45. imanidiot Silver badge

    Did I miss the memo?

    "sensitive United States data is constantly cycled through a hostile country"

    When did the Cold War start again? AFAIK Russia and the US are still not officially enemies...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did I miss the memo?

      About the time Vladimir Putin first rose to power. He's from the Old Guard.

  46. Aodhhan Bronze badge
    WTF?

    Ignorance isn't bliss

    A liberal who knows the Russian system very well and loved today by millions of Russians, whose name is Garry Kasparov can let you in on some of the things you likely believe is fine when you defend the Russian government.

    Free speech - Does not exist in Russia

    Freedom to assemble - Does not exist in Russia

    Free and fair elections - Does not exist in Russia

    You get the idea... so many values the west holds close doesn't exist at all in Russia.

    What does exist in Russia?

    Government thievery--when you have a great idea (unless you're already wealthy or part of the system), the government will take your idea, give it to one of their buddies... kick you in the balls and send you to work in a factory to tighten bolts.

    Poverty--Most Russian families still do not live in nice homes with yards.

    Like your car? Likely wouldn't have one in Russia. If you did, it would have all the features of a cheap Volkswagen.

    Widespread dissent. Despite what most people are lead to believe... Putin isn't regarded highly by the working class.

    So MI5 and FBI are spying on their own citizens... I have yet to hear a story where they are tossing people in Jail or taking away money and someone's livelihood because they spoke poorly of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer.

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: Ignorance isn't bliss

      Would upvote twice if I could.

  47. Mahhn

    Jeanne Shaheen

    is a cunt, that's all.

  48. partypop69

    Ridiculous.

    Russians are some of the best programmers out there. The brains behind millions of apps, software and source code. Taking 1 piece of a software off the shelves is very short sighted. It would be smarter to develop a system to detect malicious code in commercial software, open source software is much safer to run.

  49. onebignerd

    Fearmongering courtesy U.S Government

    This is based on nothing, no proof, no code, no Internet trace! I use and will continue to use Kaspersky Internet Security suite. It's the one security suite the NSA can't hack to spy with like they can others (as of the Snowden leaks) and that alone gives me a measure of security. Why don't they take him up on looking at the code? I doubt they are going to screw their reputation and export markets by sneaking spyware into their products, seriously!!

    I have less trust in Microsoft and the NSA!

    The Government is upset that there is the slightest chance Kaspersky is spyware for Russia, but they violate their own laws, Constitution and treaties to spy on everyone. What a freak'in joke!!

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